- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A Great Falls man pleaded guilty Friday to killing another man last September by shooting him in the head.

Branden Conrad Miesmer entered his plea before District Judge John Kutzman. The judge accepted Miesmer’s plea in the death of Cody Steve Bruyere and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation that he said could take up to eight weeks. A sentencing date was not immediately set.

Bruyere’s father and stepmother attended the hearing, but his father left the courtroom in tears after Miesmer entered his plea, the Great Falls Tribune (https://gftrib.com/1pBPRdK ) reported.

After Miesmer acknowledged shooting Bruyere, Cascade County Attorney John Parker asked if he shot him “point-blank in the head.” Miesmer replied, “Yes, sir.”

Two people said they had dropped Miesmer off at the house and heard the shooting when they returned to pick him up. They said Miesmer forced them to drive him to Helena and that he eventually dropped them off and took their car. He drove north on Interstate 15 and exited at Lincoln Road, officers said.

Miesmer damaged the car when he hit a raccoon while officers were in pursuit, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said at the time.

At an intersection, Miesmer forced a man and two children out of their car. Miesmer drove off but abandoned the vehicle near Hauser Dam and fled on foot. He was found about three days later, exhausted and suicidal, after an air and ground search, Dutton said.

The Lewis and Clark County attorney’s office referred questions about any other charges against Miesmer to the U.S. Attorney’s office. A spokeswoman said no charges had yet been filed.

Miesmer was under investigation for drug trafficking, Parker said in charging documents. Bruyere was found at a known drug house, Parker said, and he may also have been involved with illegal drugs.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, https://www.greatfallstribune.com

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